Kashmir Shawl (Chandar)
This Kashmir shawl was made in the 19th century in the Kashmir Valley out of Kashmir wool. This shawl is a reduced moon shawl, or chandar. The circular center was removed and probably fashioned into a different article while the other two thirds combined into a rectangular shawl.
Kashmir shawls originated in the Kashmir Valley, where they were woven by innovative textile specialists who figured out how to create incredibly warm, soft, and light cloth from the inner coat of goats living in the Changthang (Himalayan plateaux).
Kashmir production flourished under the Mughal emperors, especially Emperor Akbar and his son Jahangir, whose interest in the natural world combined with the colonial influx of European florilegia and herbals may have influenced shawl designers to include a variety of florals into these once plainly-designed textiles.
Persian and European markets also exerted their influence in the patterns and imagery the shawl designers chose to pursue. This example from the early 19th century has large border end panels whose butas (paisleys) end in a root-like structure, which implicates the botanical drawings this imagery was drawn from.
Kashmir shawls can be dated fairly accurately as their design evolved through the years. Early shawls featured plain central fields, their buta were not bordered but grounded into small urns. Later ones became more baroque, no doubt influenced by Parisian style and the jacquard loom technique.
Circa: 19th century
Condition: reduced from a moon shawl,yellow discoloration as seen in photos, good
Dimensions: 106" x 33"
Inventory number: TX4108